The San Francisco 49ers attempted to work out a trade this past week for linebacker NaVorro Bowman, but when it did not work out, the team released him. It was a surprise to see him released, but it appears to be generally a situation where they wanted to do right by the linebacker.
Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch said the team almost had a deal worked out, but Bowman preferred the chance to check with all 31 teams. Adam Schefter is now reporting the deal was to send him to the New Orleans Saints for a seventh round draft pick.
The team instead released Bowman, and now Ian Rapoport is reporting there is strong mutual interest with the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders currently sit at 2-3, three games back of the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. The Saints are currently 2-2, and are a game back of the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC South.
I imagine the Raiders are attractive in part because they are located nearby. Bowman spends a chunk of his offseason the Washington, D.C. area, but has set up a life in the Bay Area since joining the 49ers. The Raiders are struggling right now, but get Derek Carr back and are in the thick of the playoff race. They need a serious upgrade on defense, and Bowman could offer that. He has played with some Raiders players, and likely knows plenty of them from all living in the Bay Area. The move would make a lot of sense.